It's a great kit, despite its age. There can be fit issues, especially with the canopy, but nothing the average modeler can't overcome. I built it when I was a kid, and it was just released, and it was a lot of fun! And even more was Shep Paine's diorama brochure that was included in those original releases.
I get to see a 1:1 Black Widow undergoing restoration down at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum outside Reading PA. It's slow work, but the goal is to get her flying again someday. That will be very cool!
Looking good and don't do like me. That is the one and only kit I have relegated back to the box incomplete. I may drag it out and diorama a crash scene some day but for now it can sit alone in it's dark cold box with a canopy that didn't even come close to fitting. Up until that point I was enjoying the old classic build.
I'm doing the same kit too but I'm building this one "wheels up". One knock about this kit is the cowling with open panel option will look strange should you opt to close them. How strange? Look at the cowling and flaps. They're flushed to the twin boom and will not look right nor make sense with the opposite side. My plan is find AM cowling with flap and cut out the flushed side. I'm also adding 4 blade PE spinning blades.
Try Frog yellow painter tape. It’s the same tackiness as Tamiya tape. I never use the blue painter tape for masking canopy. They’re too thick when the Frog yellow tape is much more thinner. I do use the green Frog painter tape on occasion. Frog tape can be found in most Paint stores (not Sherwin Williams stores) and Walmart. I’m sure some hardware stores including Lowe’s or Home Depot carries them too.
Liquid masking film works great for some things but small canopies may not be ideal for it. I use liquid masking film for large insignia on some of my R/C stuff and it works great, it is sprayed on then after it's dry the lines can be cut very carefully and the excess peeled off. If you were to try masking a small canopy free hand with liquid masking film you will still end up with edges & corners that are not sharp.
Another issue with the liquid masking is when it's sprayed or brushed you have to try and keep the thickness of the film a bit on the thick side or else when it dries it can be a bear to peel off!
One trick that I have used in the past for a canopy frame is to mask & then airbrush one frame line at a time. This is a bit labor intensive but the end result is that you have a criss-cross frame pattern with nice edges and sharp corners. For tape I use the blue vinyl automotive masking tape, you can get it in a bunch of different widths and it conforms to curves very nice, it's really designed for painting graphics and other fancy stuff but it comes in handy for small parts too.
This old Revell Oscar canopy was done this way, mask one frame line at a time.